Everyone wants credit for American Airlines merger idea

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM

There's more drama in the US Airways bid for American Airlines.

This time, American's CEO Tom Horton is firing back at his counterpart in Phoenix.

With a merger of the two airlines looking all the more likely, Horton is now speaking out, and he's setting the merger record straight.

The American Airlines chief told the Associated Press Wednesday he was the one who approached US Airways about a possible merger... not the other way around.

Horton said US Airways needs American more, and frankly called the carrier's heavy overtures to merge "desperate."

US Airways CEO Doug Parker has been pushing hard to combine with American Airlines. He has won support from of American's unions while giving a boost to his company's stock and profits.

Horton said he floated the idea of a merger last September — two months before American declared bankruptcy.

But it's US Airways that started speaking publicly about it first.

Although Horton now says a merger was his idea, officially he is still not sold on the concept, insisting he would prefer to keep American independent.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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